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Posts tagged ‘Research’

Partner Spotlight: Lyon Software’s White Paper on Community Impact Reports

As part of a new series of AASCU Research and Strategy reports, AASCU corporate partners are providing important insights and data to our member institutions. Our latest report is a white paper from a company that ADP has worked closely with and that sponsored our 2015 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement meeting.

Lyon Software’s white paper on “The Importance of Reporting Community Impact in Institutions of Higher Learning,” provides a set of concrete arguments for why institutions of higher education should consider measuring and reporting their community impacts, including developing and maintaining community support; maintaining academic credentials; and institutionalizing community engagement. The white paper also identifies four general communities related to the educational arena that institutions might consider reporting on — including: campus, academic, local/global, and mission-specific domains — and offers examples of programs or measures for each area.

Special Note for ADP Blog readers:

Institutions interested in tracking their impact on the community are invited to join Lyon Software’s Stewards of CBISA user group. CBISA Plus for Higher Education is  a tool used to help you track your institution’s service-learning and community engagement programs in order to create your institutional impact report. Those joining the Stewards of CBISA user group will receive 50% off their first year’s subscription to CBISA.

If you’re not familiar with Lyon Software and their CBISA tool, be sure to check them out online or by contacting either  Brittany Younts or Crystal Randolph at 419-882-7184 or at byounts @ or crandolph @, respectively.

Partner Spotlight: New Data & Report from CIRCLE


Does the Age of a Presidential Candidate Matter to Young Voters?

As more contenders enter the next presidential race, CIRCLE continues looking ahead to 2016 and exploring the role that youth will play in that election. With candidates ranging in age from 43 (Marco Rubio) to 73 (Bernie Sanders) already among the declared aspirants, we explored an oft-asked question: do young people prefer to vote for younger candidates?

The answer is, largely, no. In 2008, less than 20% of young voters (ages 18-29) said that age was an important factor, and very few reported that it was “the single most important factor” in deciding their vote: only 6% of young Democrats and 4% of Republicans. While youth have voted for the younger of the presidential candidates in a majority of recent elections, those younger candidates have also generally been Democrats, which means the age of candidates is tied to other factors.

Read more.

America’s Civic Renewal Movement: Implications for Youth Engagement

Last month, Tisch College—the home of CIRCLE—released “America’s Civic Renewal Movement: The View from Organizational Leaders,” a report by former CIRCLE Director Peter Levine and Eric Liu, founder and CEO of Citizen University. The report is the product of interviews with 20 leaders from large, national civic engagement organizations who discussed the state of the field and broader strategies for civic renewal.

While the interviews did not focus on youth, its findings are highly relevant to youth engagement. Young people are developing their civic identities when there is not yet a robust network for civic renewal, and several interviewees lamented the lack of youth in formal settings, such as facilitating conversations.

Read more.

RFP: Critical Issues in Advancing Community-Engaged Scholarship Grants


Request for Proposals:
Research on Critical Issues in Advancing Community-Engaged Scholarship
Three grants of up to $5,000 | Proposals Due November 20, 2014

The 2014 Lynton Colloquium on the Scholarship of Engagement was held on September 15, 2014, at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Hosted by NERCHE and the Center for Engaged Democracy (CED) at Merrimack College, the Annual Lynton Colloquium launched a new research initiative aimed at studying key community engagement issues identified by a crowd-sourcing methodology and input from Colloquium participants. Grounded in the work of NERCHE’s Next Generation Engagement project and CED’s focus on academic programs in civic engagement, the Lynton Colloquium and the Request for Proposals which grew out of the meeting seek to foster sustained and systematic investigations that will support deeper understandings of and clearer actions around critical issues in advancing community engaged scholarship.

Research Priority Areas
The research initiative is framed with the goal of identifying the current critical challenges of advancing community engaged scholarship and the collaborative identification of research priority areas. The three research areas to emerge as priorities from the Colloquium are:

  • Structures of Inclusion:
    This includes questions of student diversity, faculty diversity, research methodologies, scholar identities, inequality regimes and structures of exclusion.  Respondents identified an interest in reframing these regimes and structures toward equality and inclusion
  • Leadership:
    Includes ways in which academic administrators (Provosts, Deans, Chairs) create supportive institutional cultures for community-engaged scholars, as well as professional development for administrators to be effective and supportive (of community engaged faculty) community-engaged campus leaders.
  • Student Outcomes:
    Includes civic learning outcomes as well as outcomes around persistence, retention, and success.

Request for Proposals
The Center for Engaged Democracy is requesting proposals for research in any of the three research priorities areas listed above. CED will support research in these areas through three research grants of up to $5,000 per research project.

A PDF copy of the Request for Proposals (RFP) is available for download on the CED website at:

The RFP must be submitted electronically via the following website:

Proposals are due November 20, 2014, for research to be completed by August 2015 for presentation at the 2015 Lynton Colloquium in September 2015.

For more information, contact Elaine Ward (, Dan Butin (, or John Saltmarsh (  Or visit the CED website at:

National Study on Student Civic Skills and Identities Seeking ADP/TDC Campus Participation

Research Question
Do campus student organizations cultivate civic skills and identities?

JOIN A NATIONAL STUDY TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION. This National Study is being organized by two ADP Campus Coordinators and political science faculty members — Elizabeth Bennion at Indiana University South Bend and Cherie Strachan at Central Michigan University.

Invitation to Participate
Minimal time commitment! Serve as campus coordinator or recruit somebody else!

TO SIGN UP OR GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CIVIC SKILLS RESEARCH PROJECT, please send the following information to Elizabeth Bennion at the project email address name, title, contact information (including email and phone number).

Project Description
Colleges and universities are increasingly called upon to bolster students’ civic and political engagement. Yet research in both political science and higher education suggest that current college-level civic education and political science coursework are incapable of fully addressing these concerns. Political scientists know that participation in associational life plays an important role in cultivating such engagement. Yet we have largely overlooked the potential of civil society on our own campuses. Given the prominent role of voluntary associations in political socialization, this work explores whether student organizations function as the equivalent of campus civil society, and whether they can supplement formal civic education efforts on campus. A single-campus pilot study, based on an internet survey of student organization presidents, found that traditional Greek organizations far outperformed other types of campus organizations in activities known to cultivate members’ civic identities, political skills, and political efficacy. The finding that some student organizations excel at this task is reassuring. Yet given the reputation of Greek organizations, this preliminary pattern is also disconcerting. Recent research by both sociologists and higher education scholars have found that participation in Greek organizations is associated with higher levels of sexism and symbolic racism. This project seeks to replicate the single campus pilot study across numerous college campuses, to determine whether the patterns identified are unique to a single campus, or whether they describe the state of campus civil society across higher education. The findings will help advocates of campus civic engagement to identify both problem-areas and best-practices for student groups. [NOTE: You do NOT need to have Greek organization on campus to participate in this study of registered student organizations.]

Participation Requirements | Campus coordinators for this project will be asked to:

  • Assemble contact information for student organization presidents on their campus
  • Provide assistance coordinating approval of the questionnaire/study for their campus
  • Help to bolster the response rate on their campus

Participation Benefits | Campus coordinators for this project will receive:

  • A report detailing the findings for their own campus
  • A summary report comparing their campus to overall findings
  • A letter documenting participation in the project
  • Eligibility to serve as PI of future Consortium projects

IRB Approval Notice
This study has already been approved by the Institutional Review Board at both Indiana University South Bend and Central Michigan University. The Principle Investigators of the study, Elizabeth Bennion (IUSB) and J. Cherie Strachan (CMU) will assure that all protocols are strictly observed. The recruitment procedure and student leader survey have been vetted by the Institutional Review Board of each campus in accordance with university and federal policies governing human subjects research. A copy of the IRB approval letters, or other IRB materials, is available upon request. Separate IRB approvals are NOT required for each participating campus. The requirements and approval protocols for student participation in national research studies vary by campus. However, if your campus would like you (or the PIs) to submit an IRB application, or other materials, please contact Elizabeth Bennion at the project email site Dr. Bennion will be pleased to assist with any IRB requests related to this study of registered student organizations.


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